Drug trafficking is one of the most severe crimes in Florida. According to the Florida Statutes, the mandatory minimum for any trafficking charge is at least three years imprisonment.
You do not need to sell drugs to catch a drug trafficking charge. The only standard the court follows is the amount you possessed at the time of your arrest.
Judges cannot reduce the sentence
Unfortunately, the nature of mandatory minimum laws prevents a judge from reducing or dismissing your charge. With simple drug possession, first-time offenders often receive a reduced penalty. The judge might order community service instead of jail time. Drug trafficking is another story. You might face the same punishment as an individual with multiple convictions. The only person with the power to reduce your sentence is the prosecutor.
Certain amounts trigger trafficking charges
Possession of a certain amount of illegal substances puts you in danger of a drug trafficking conviction. For the complete list of amounts and penalties, see the Florida Statutes. Some examples of the minimum quantity necessary to invoke a trafficking charge are:
- One gram of LSD
- 14 grams of amphetamine
- 300 cannabis plants or 25 pounds of marijuana
- Four grams of heroin, morphine, flunitrazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone or opium
In addition to mandatory minimum prison sentences, trafficking charges carry a mandatory $50,000 fine. A judge cannot reduce the amount based on its impact on your family or your need for rehabilitation.
The consequences of drug trafficking are harsh. You must exercise every right the law affords you. Otherwise, you will face several years of prison and extensive fines.